Week 35 miscellany: celeb special with Derren Brown, Jurgen Klopp, Bear Grylls, and authors

The best bit of the End of Festival Fireworks, the "waterfall" down Castle Rock, can never be photographed accurately but that doesn't stop all of us trying.

Regular readers of this blog are unlikely to be on the lookout here for celebrities, but this week's selection of articles and the like happen to full of them...

Derren Brown used to be a Christian, now he's world-famous for making his own "miracles". Justin Brierley has done a fascinating and honest interview with him. It's a good reminder for those of us who know that God does supernatural things today to be diligent in verifying them, whether they convince a sceptic or not.

Gary Lineker recently interviewed Liverpool manager J├╝rgen Klopp, who mentioned that his Christian faith made him happy to celebrate the success of others, even his opponents. Tim Bechervaise considers what it is about the gospel that makes this true.

Marilyn Robinson is one of my favourite writers (and as Pulitzer Prize-winner must count as famous, if not a celebrity). What is it about her form of Christianity that is causing it to shrink?, wonders Paul Gleason.

J.R.R. Tolkien hated celebrity, and wasn't much of a fan of triumphalism either. Wesley Hill considers the truth of his description of Christianity as a "long defeat". Whether you agree with Hill (or Tolkien), his contention that God might ask us to do things we don't want to do is almost an alien concept in the western church. That is a ridiculous situation for people who are called to "take up your cross and follow Me".

Finally, Bear Grylls invites you to go on the greatest adventure...